Locals defend rhino hunt

2012-01-06 00:00

THE Mduku community that stands to benefit from a rhino hunt valued at R960 000, approved by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife at the Makhasa Community Game Reserve, defended the hunt and said the money would be used to address the needs of the community and the game reserve.

John Mathenjwa, chairperson of the Makhasa game reserve, said the Mduku community relied on game sales and auctions to raise funds which were used to manage the reserve.

He believed certain animal rights groups were “blowing things out of proportion”, adding that hunting had been used before to raise funds to improve security around the game reserve and implement other projects.

“Our reserve would be history today if it had not raised funds to sustain itself.”

Mathenjwa said the money from the rhino hunt would be used to build markets that would result in local job creation and proceeds would assist in improving security around the game reserve, repairing damaged fences and employing more field ran­gers.

He said the Mduku community had never benefited directly from funds raised by the reserve, which had angered some community members.

To “calm” them a portion of the hunt’s proceeds would be used to address the community’s needs, including educational and health needs — to make them appreciate the benefit of having a game reserve in the area.

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